Friday, September 21, 2007

Well Down the Path

I've talked recently about creating a multi-disciplinary institute focused on sentencing along the lines of the Santa Fe Institute in, well, Santa Fe on complexity. Thanks to a Doug Berman post, I heard about the UT Criminal Justice Center, and I thought it would only be fair to admit that this body also fits pretty well, if not completely, what I'm talking about. Not the Institute I described, which I didn’t see as teaching courses, but covers much of what would be needed. Would like to see more on problem definition and program implementation, but adds social work, which I haven’t emphasized as a specific discipline to be included. One of the articles on the site talks about the difficulties they’ve had in initial years getting disciplines other than social work and law into the classrooms to get the multidisciplinary mix that would be best. My Institute idea would have them all on the same staff and collaborating on research from the get-go. Big problem for academe, the crossing of the discipline boundaries even with support from each individual department. Be very interesting to see how this develops. We're getting there.

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